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Becoming me

punta del este 1.jpgsunny skies, packed beaches and lovely summer in Punta del Este!

Hola a todos desde Uruguay! I’m in Punta del Este now, a beautiful (but expensive, urghs) coastal beach resort with the most azure skies ever. I love beaches!! I’m a certified sunshine girl 😀

It has been a while since I wrote. With the festive spirit in the December air and the joys of summer infecting Buenos Aires, I have been out more than ever – cafe hopping, restaurant searching, milonga raiding, bar exploring. Also, my laptop has recently started making this weird, annoying whizzing sound (IT experts, it is going to explode soon?) and it makes contemplative writing really unconducive. Hopefully, blasting some upbeat Hot Chip/Gorgon City/Calvin Harris over my speakers now can assist me in crafting out possibly the last entry of this eventful year.

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the famous La Mano by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal

I’m actually at a loss to how I should start this entry. Words are currently in a tangled mess, all jumbled up in my brain. My thoughts are aplenty but they are dashing through my mind faster than I can crystalise them.

I don’t even know where and how I should begin sharing the experiences I had rode through this year.

It has been a series of conundrums, all back-to-back, side-by-side. And I can’t believe it all happened in just a year – I was just telling my friends yesterday that I felt like I’ve lived 3 years, minimum. I have had such a compact accumulation of experiences.

I had been happy, really happy. I had been sad too, really sad. I had experienced pure excitement, with fireworks exploding in my eyes. I also had my fire extinguished, was shrouded in temporal darkness while I desperately sought my way. I had found love, I had experienced bliss. I had lost love, and had experienced grief. I had found new beginnings. I had experienced heart-wrenching endings. I had gained freedom. I had lost certainty.

Time and again, I am reminded how almost all things in life are impermanent. Experiences come and go, emotions form and disperse. Nothing really stays, and letting go is almost an absolute necessity.

There’s something really simple in the theme for this entry – becoming ourselves, becoming me. It’s about going back to basics, going back to the beginning of things. The funny irony is, we all know that the simplest of concepts are often the toughest to grasp and the hardest to understand 🙂

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gorgeous sunset with the most brilliant of colours

Life in Buenos Aires has gone back to the comfortable drone that I love. Calm, quiet, sometimes contemplative, but often exciting. There’s something new to discover and learn every day. I’ve made a concerted effort to get involved in activities other than those Tango-related. Feeling determined to learn my Spanish well, going for other artsy events, visiting cafes and bars which I absolutely dig, meeting interesting people (some of whom have become great friends), conversing feebly in my broken Spanish (which often end up in a terrible mess after a couple of drinks since my brain can’t function while I’m slightly tipsy). Going with the flow of things, listening to my instincts, without any expectations of what’s right or wrong, logical or otherwise.

It’s fascinating how far I’ve come, considering the fact that I took the plane to Buenos Aires two months back with a really heavy heart. A mish-mash of guilt, uncertainty, melancholia, sadness – it was largely a bag of negative emotions. I left Singapore not because I didn’t love her or enjoy my life there, but I knew I wasn’t ready to be home. Maybe it was the hope of going back to the life I loved in Buenos Aires, one that was easily the best I had experienced in a while before I left unexpectedly. Maybe it was the hope of having the same magic recreated again. But as life turns out to be time and again, nothing ever goes as predicted. I came back here realising how everything is still the same but totally different. I came back learning that I am truly on my own, starting from stretch all over again.

I couldn’t help but feel overwhelming sadness, guilt, even stupidity. I went through this whole phase of seriously doubting my decision of quitting my job and coming back here to “just live for a while doing alternative activities”. I mean, often, that equates to being an idealistic bum with no concrete goals in life. Or rather, from the part of the world that I am from, this is the associated connotation.

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what I am doing everyday for this week…I can totally get used to this 😉

I had beaten myself up, asking myself why I gave up my life of comfort back home when there was, in reality, nothing waiting for me at this side of the world. It was part of my illusion, a big one on hand.

And all the things I had to handle back home.

Disappointed parents. Concerned sibling, relatives and friends. A series of expectations, perhaps some of them self-imposed. I was trying to find the balance between being responsible and being selfish.

I had been stressed. Really stressed. Because for most meetups I had with various people back home, I armed myself with a series of intelligently planned answers to justify why I was coming back here. To justify that I knew what I was doing.

To justify my life.

But I hated it. I hate trying to find a purpose when I can’t see it. In fact, I hate the need to be answerable to anyone else for my life. I know I sound like an ungrateful daughter, I know everyone back home loves me and is concerned for me, but it was just too tiring.

I didn’t feel good about myself. I felt silly and stupid. At some point, I lost trust in myself.

But knowing how stubborn and thoroughly unreasonable I am, I went with my gut. I packed my bags and left. And no, I still have no concrete plans. I know I said I had, I know I had started a training consultancy company. But you know what? I did all that to placate the alter ego in me that was freaking out. I had to pacify my logical mind telling her that I have great things coming.

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Punta del Este mildly reminds me of Honolulu, Hawaii

In reality, I want to do none of those. At least not now.

I’m so over trying to over-analyse everything.

One day while sitting at the balcony of my friend’s apartment here in Buenos Aires, I got really tired. I felt battered. I felt exhausted.

And at the same time, I got really pissed with myself for putting myself through all these silly examinations. If I had passed or failed. If I had been too selfish. If I had hurt the feelings of the ones I loved by doing what I wanted.

It was absolutely crazy. And I got so angry with myself. I really did.

We are all our own biggest critics. We ought to be kinder to ourselves.

For one, I’m so over trying to be the lacklustre domesticated doormat that I was not made to be, thinking that was what the world desired of me instead of my radical feisty, passionate self. Thinking that it was the way that I could finally find worth and love, and be accepted for who I was.

What was I thinking and why was I rejecting me?

I’m not perfect. And I don’t intend to be anymore.

I’ll rather be real and authentic. I’ll rather be human.

And the interesting thing is, I’m certain I’m not the only one in this journey of “becoming” a better person. To be kinder. To be more understanding. To be more philanthropic. Yader yader. We all go through that at some points in our lives – it’s universal.

I’m not saying those things are bad; they are in fact, great. Just that, when did we stop trusting ourselves that we have been that all along?

When did we stop trusting the person we have been all this while?

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the mandatory tourist shot 😉

We, human beings, are a funny bunch. We often see our negative traits, and we always forget to acknowledge ourselves for our unique, special and irreplaceable sides.

We are so much more beautiful than we think ourselves to be.

Recently, I’ve also been reminded of the wise words my grandmamma used to tell me all the time – be content and be happy. And no one can make us upset if we choose to be happy.

I think I am finally beginning to understand what she means.

How I feel day after day, is all a matter of choice and perspective. I can wake up and thank the fact that I’m breathing and alive. I am grateful for the sun. I am grateful for being here, doing what I truly want. I am grateful for my freedom. I don’t have to focus on what I lack but be grateful for what I have.

And it is absolutely true that no one can make us happy but ourselves. Happiness doesn’t lie in what others do to us – happiness is found within. It is only when we are truly happy and comfortable with ourselves, can we find the courage, kindness, compassion and empathy to fully connect vulnerably with another.

It is about embracing ALL of ourselves – the good, the bad, the ugly and the kind. Even the parts where we are embarrassed about – perhaps it’s time we learn how to laugh at ourselves 😉

For example, I pretended that I didn’t need to look fancy at some point in time. I pretended that I was happy living off 2 dresses. Truth be told, I DREADED IT. But why did I do that? Perhaps, I thought that was what was expected of me, this other image that I had created and felt the need to conform to. Yes, the simplicity of the idea was nice and all, but I am honestly too vain to not miss my fabulous hair, occasional beauty treats and my variety of pretty clothes. I miss my wide array of killer heels and fancy bags. Guilty as charged. But that is me, I love it and so it shall be 🙂

I finally feel confident and vulnerable enough to embrace the unreasonable, uncompromising and unrelenting side of me. And trust the woman I am.

Life is really simple and uncomplicated if we keep trusting our hearts and going for what we want. And geez, I am excited about what new experiences that will come knocking along my way.

For now, I’m (still) the city girl roaming off the beaten paths of the world, because the world is my oyster. And I’m gonna do it simply because I can.

And that’s what I wish for all of you too. For nothing but gorgeous days, and hearts full of love and courage to live the lives we have been blessed with. To keep loving, giving, being kind, compassionate and vulnerable. To keep being strong and brave. And most importantly, to keep embracing ourselves in all of its entirety.

Here’s sending you all my love, hugs and kisses, along with some sunny rays and fine white sand from the lovely Punta del Este.

Happy 2016 my dearies!

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One thought on “Becoming me

  1. Wonderfully written article, as always. So authentic, genuine and from the soul. I can feel your passion for life through your words. Happy new year, I am sure it will be, and keep on believing!

    Like

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